I was a MS RN for 3 years prior to transferring to ICU. I took a 9$/HR pay increase. They are both stressful in their own way. But I did a 3 month training program before ICU, it was like a short nursing school all over again. The ICU has the sickest patients in the hospital and your decisions are immediate life and death. In MS the mental stimulation and decisions are not as critical, the level of acuity is not nearly the same and it's mostly discharges and admissions. HOWEVER you can get a patient who needs to be Intermediate care as a MS nurse and you need to be able to pick up early signs of deterioration before they become ICU status. When they begin to detoriate you play detective and care for them the best you can and get the patient to the proper unit and this can take up your time and be a challenging day on a MS floor. MS is about time management, basic nursing skills, prioritization, and customer service skills. ICU is all of those, plus taking the 3 month training, more autonomy, immediate life/death decisions, care of the patient and family after death, drips, vents, more lines, more complex illnesses, etc. the point is icu requires more skills and more liability. I never had a patient code in MS, it's called critical care for a reason. I think all critical care floors should be paid more ( and most hospitals and agencies usually do pay more ) not saying MS is easy but it's not as critical as icu. This includes cath lab, picu, nicu, and ER. Think about this: An ICU nurse can float to MS with no additional training but a MS nurse couldn't float to ICU without months of training.